Friday, January 28, 2011

Bring It, Two-K-One-One

Oh baby! I'm excited to report my 2011 USA Cycling Racing Licenses came today! I guess I kind of needed some textbooks more than these licenses at this point, but I'll make do. This has me thinking I will need to really start scanning out my racing schedule as much as I can for the upcoming road season. I want to get points and win big! Aim high, why not?
They came with big stickers too! ... now where to put them...
I'll be sure to watch the Cyclocross Wold Championships this weekend. Live coverage can be found at Cycling Fans. I'm pulling for our USA representatives in both mens and women's categories. I think Katie Compton will take the womens for USA, but the men have a considerably steeper climb to make. Tim Johnson was awesome to watch last race I saw taking up the chase, but I think Neils Albert or even Sven Nys will take the crown from Zdenek Stybar. The USA boys are, in my opinion the dark-horse contenders, but just being on that stage is monumental. Jonathan Page might pull this one out though. Who knows, but it will be a good race.

On another note, I think I will be beginning a (what I'll call) "blog series" for my blog here. I am not sure on the title, but I want to add an element of consistency and reliable posting to this. What I have in mind is like a "Monday Mornings Week #" or something along those lines for my blog. My initial idea is to have an account of the weekend, had I participated in a race, and what I look forward to for the next week and weekend of training and racing. I guess I'll leave it at that with an effort to creativity, insight, consistency, and personality. I will add structure as I see fit and will hope to see creativity to dictate how things go. I know racing is a few months off so if I start it this coming Monday.... it'll be an offseason type of post. We'll see how it goes. I hope people will catch on.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

If You Could

I figure since I have this camera, I might as well bring it along with me if I find something to take a pic of. I can't say it's in my absolute comfort zone to just whip it out and take a pic of something... but what am I afraid of? Right. I'll get there.

I snapped this as I was walking out of my last class for the day.
Snow does what it do. I wish I had taken it out on my way to class to capture some actual snowfall, but I was, as usual, in a big hurry to get to class.

I took a few more on my way back home and nothing really made much sense, but at least this one looks to be in more focus than the rest.
I'm no photographer. Anyway this really has nothing to do with my cycling, and that's alright. I'm not sure how many people read this blog for anything related to my cycling anyway. I guess I could relate these pictures to the fact that it should be evident that I don't do much outside riding these days. Trainer for an hour today, but it'll be intense!

Thanks for reading.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

All Day

All I've had to do today is ride my bike. I guess there was that one information paper i had to fill out for a management class, but that wasn't hard. What was hard... was getting through my 4 hours of riding today. I am in the middle of that 4 hours. My legs were just not feeling it so I've decided to take a little break after 2 hours.
Break time...
and back on the bike I go to watch the Steelers take on the Jets for the AFC championship game. I'm not a terribly big football fan, but it's something to keep me distracted when the legs just won't shut-up.

Keep in mind, I don't have tv, so what I'm watching is some online stream from a site that I'll keep to myself. it's a weird kind of broadcast. I can definitely hear the talk, between the announcers, during the breaks. Weird.

My Saturday Night Live

I have had a long, rather boring day. I was able to catch up with IUP Cycling club's vice president, and we worked out a few details for the club's first few weeks of this "spring" semester. After that, I hopped on the bike for a bit...
and then just kind of sat around looking for job opportunities for after I graduate. Honestly, nothing looks to promise much excitement, but I do suppose beggars can't be choosers and I just won't go into it.

While I'm on the subject of plans for after graduation, I am happy to report that earlier this week I made contact with a local cycling club in Northern Virginia. From the sound of it, they seem like a nicely knit group of riders that will help me reach my goals of becoming a cat3 cyclist... hopefully by the end of the year. I'll post more about them later I suppose.

This is the view from my window on a night like tonight and I'm not all that crazy about this snow. I'll be honest, I'm not used to being so "bored" on a Saturday night, but I had some help getting my mind off of things.
In front of me tonight is the live Versus coverage of the Santos Tour Down Under. This six-day stage-race turned into a great event on it's final day as the sprinters were keen on trying to topple the young overall leader, Cameron Meyers from Garmin-Cervelo. In a brilliant display of tactics, Garmin-C had their wits about them and played their cards right from the get-go to fend off Matthew Goss, Michael Matthews and their respective HTC-Highroad and Rabobank teams. I enjoyed the race a lot and I think it was great to see a brother of Cameron Meyers, Travis Meyers, on a rival team no less, (Sky) put in a huge effort for his brother on the last lap to not only secure a 1-2 finish for his teammates Ben Swift (fitting name indeed) and Gregory Henderson, but also his brother's overall race win.

I hope that's not all too much over anyone's head. I've had to reread it a few times to make sure I know what I'm saying. What I mean is, this race proved to be a fight all the way down to the line. I saw riders really fighting for their lines and wheels as things got fast on the last lap. Shoulder checks and body leans were happening all around the front end. It was cool to see so much aggression right there in front of me and the overall stage and stage-race wins were well deserved.

They always talk about it being a part of the sport all the time, but I hadn't seen it live, for myself, I guess other than the obvious head-butting that went on during last year's tour.
That cost HTC-Columbia's Mark Renshaw his continuation of the tour. It's a part of racing, but even he admitted that last one was probably a bit less necessary. In races, I've touched wrists and even made some handlebar to handlebar contact with other riders for position as adrenaline starts to pump and positions become more and more important. I can definitely see myself shouldering a guy, but that's really a last resort kind of thing if I feel like I'm in danger. They say to never take your hands off the bars in the final sprint. I've seen some riders lose their win over it.

I ate too much today...

Friday, January 21, 2011

In Contrast

Although a good laugh is always welcome, I cannot deny how refreshing it is to read a cyclist's own perspective and well written words about his experience. Canadian rider, Michael Barry, riding for the UK's Team Sky has a great vision on things. I have never really read about a team training camp before, and his words make things sound as smooth as the pavement sliding beneath the wheels.
those might not be too smooth...
He has been a professional for thirteen years and his perspective is right where it should be. Here's his article published January 18th (my birthday) in Velonews.

I Need a Laugh

I'm in need of a good laugh. Seeing The Twisted Spoke's tweet about the battle in the Tour Down Under between Cav and Tyler got that laugh. I have been reading his stuff for some time now. It's good to have an honest comical poke at the ever serious sport of professional cycling.

If you care to read, here's a link.

The creative writer of "Twisted Spoke," Matt Walsh, has been moving up in his status as a cycling journalist. I enjoy his stuff, but sometimes it's hard to know what's what. I hope he gets more exposure to the sport and keeps on doing his thing.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Sports Illustrated's Lance Investigation

I don't know much about Lance Armstrong and all the players involved in his predicament, but Sports Illustrated has released much of their findings in a lengthy, but informative article. Personally, I think Lance is in deep, dark waters. He could be innocent. He could also be guilty. I want to see him on trial and prove to me and the world, without cover-ups, undisclosed settlements, money, or flat denial, that he is innocent. The case mounting against him may prove too great for even "The Boss" to handle and simply say "no comment" to. Everyone wants to believe that cycling's (arguably) greatest champion did it all with the help of teammates and his own physical ability without the help of performance enhancing drugs. I will not believe him either way until it is all proven. If proven guilty, I want him to pay his due sentence and to never see him around a bike ever again. If proven innocent, I want him to be left alone and focus on his foundation.

It is sad to think that so many people's inspiration, hero, and idol could be a fraud. No one is perfect.

I guess that is all I have to say on it. I applaud SI's investigation and tireless efforts to get a hold of this information and make sense of it for the public to read and understand. The article is a long read, but it is some very interesting stuff. Lance could sink in those deep dark waters.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Sprinter's Year

All the hype last year about a battle in Le Tour between Alberto, Lance, and the Schleck boys, I believe, has played its course and this year will be the year of the sprinters. The media embellished rivalry of Mark Cavendish and Andre Greipel will make some cycling headlines. The reigning world champion, Thor Husovd at Garmin-Cervelo will be battling Francesco Chicchi, Ton Boonen, Alessandro Petachi, Robbie McEwen, Matt Goss, Michael Matthews, Greg Henderson, Edvald Boasson Hagen, Tyler Farrar, Oscar Freire, for the finish line throughout the year. I think lead-out trains will be refined and tactical. The strong teams in the last 5-1k will make the difference for a lot of riders. Timing and patience will be key for these guys.

I'd like to keep those two factors in mind when I race this upcoming season. I need patience and timing. I am not sure if I am a "sprinter," but rather and opportunist. With the little racing experience I have, I know I can close gaps when I need to, catch and follow wheels, put time on the front, punch a powerful attack from far out, and sprint around riders for the win.  Sometimes I can get lucky with my timing and other times I surprise myself.

I think there is a lot that can be learned by watching the pros and their teams win races. Watching a solo victory or climbers duke it out for a win can be inspiring and a whole lot of fun to watch,
but seeing the teams work in the last few km for their sprinter against everyone else is what keeps the sport on it's toes.
I'm just babbling on at this point, but I hope to have some results like these guys. For a lot of them they know they wouldn't get to the line first without the hard of or their teammates. For others, they have the strength and awareness of the races to scrap or a win when their teammates will sometimes have other responsibilities or have already given their all. In professional cycling, when a sprinter takes it, they will rarely have done it alone.

At the domestic and certainly lower level races, teammates may not always be there to sacrifice themselves. Not to say I haven't had riders work for me, teammates or not. I must say I do recognize their hard work and sacrifice for me. It is a pretty amazing feeling to come up with a great result after seeing how yourself and teammates have worked for it. I want to get the results and have myself work for teammates to get wins now and the rest of my career. 

This year's Tour Down Under (Starting 1/18/2011... my bday!) will be a big showcase of the sprinter for the year. I want to see blood and glory. These guys will be hungry to prove themselves and put up some wins for their teams in this big year for cycling.

Speaking of my career, I am in the job hunt for life after my undergrad. I would love to be lucky enough to keep cycling part of it all. We'll see. My ride today was terribly short, but fun seeing as it was my first outside ride of the year. It is frustrating to not know of any great places to ride in Virginia, but I will be also looking to join a team if I move back to Northern Virginia after I graduate. I want a team that has experience, travels to race all sorts of races, and one that will have strength and the ability to keep me developing as a racer, teammate, and leader.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Bitting Off Too Much

Maybe I am going for the MBA before I need it.
Am I right?
Possibly. I spoke with an admissions person at George Mason University's School of Management. It was educational to say the least. I was honestly a bit shocked at discovering I had to have either at least two years of professional experience with two professional employer recommendations or excellent grades and high GMAT exam scores to be considered a real applicant for their MBA program. I guess the higher GMAT exam scores will be needed for their program regardless of professional experience or lack thereof.

She informed me: "Gone are the days one can get their MBA right after their undergraduate. We just can't get them jobs anymore." How am I supposed to get one? I'm not too worried tho. It will work out.

Thus, I have begun the job hunt. I was really hoping I could avoid that for at least two years, but I know patience will be big for me. I have sent my resume to some places and emailed others applications and just searched options. I feel like I may well have a lot of options, but I do not know where they lead. Beyond that, I've made a list of things I can do to make the most of my remaining Virginia trip.
I was off the bike today citing an "Off" day in the training program tomorrow. I will ride tomorrow instead. Simple enough. I need new pants too. Inner-thigh of my favorite corduroys ripped the other night. Bummer.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

ProTeams 2011

AG2R La Mondiale

BMC Racing Team







Omega Pharma-Lotto

Pro Team Astana

Quickstep Cycling Team

Rabobank Cycling Team

Saxo Bank Sungard

Sky Procycling

Team Garmin-Cervelo

Team Leopard-Trek

Team RadioShack


These are the 18 ProTream jerseys.  Some I like, some I don't. via

Monday, January 10, 2011

It Won't Be My Longest

I've just hopped off the bike and finished my longest week of training yet. 17 hours of training done and I feel pretty good about it. I guess I can say it was tough, but with no school work and no other demands of a schedule or responsibility on me, this was not my toughest riding. Four weeks from now will prove tougher. I will have 18 hours of training to complete on top of school work and IUP Cycling Club responsibilities to keep up with.

Competitive cyclists will know that putting in these long hours of training, winter by winter, year by year, are important for success in the season and career. The legs have to go through these easier miles long before the more intense miles of racing. As the season gets closer, of course, more intense workouts will start to creep in and the long hours of easy riding will be more focussed and not as constantly lengthy.
Philippe Gilbert
My next week will be a recovery week of 8.5 hours. My body will enjoy the rest, but I have to keep in touch with my food intake. I want to eat enough, but not as much as I have for this demanding week.
Francesco Chicchi's facebook profile picture
Beyond riding, I have to get a few things sorted out for schools I am interested in going to next year. I really don't know where I will be, but I know I will find a way to keep cycling in the mix. I am very lucky to have it in my life like it is now!

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Distracting Mind and Body

Distractions come in different forms for different riders. They come in different forms for me almost every day. Some days, especially last year, all I need is music. Whether I can sing along, or it's all new to me, music can almost always be the best distraction for my mind and body. Past that, I think it's a toss-up. I will look for many opportunities to get away.
Riding with a hook-up to distraction.
Sometimes, I will find some show on Hulu or other various sites to watch. Other times, if the Redskins are playing I will find a site that is streaming the live game. That has proved to be a perfect fit for 3+ hour rides of late. I can find almost any show to watch, but I do seem to ride through the episodes and seasons rather quickly. I honestly, don't feel like I need to watch every show there is and having to select the next episode over and over can just get annoying.

I'm not complaining or anything, but I've found a way that I really enjoy distracting myself lately. I have mentioned this distraction before (here), but it is certainly worth another note from me and listen from everyone.
Radiolab! I have become a HUGE fan of the episodes, inquiries, and explorations of this program. Radiolab is produced by NYU and distributed by NPR. The episodes are hosted by Jad Abumrad and Robert Krulwich assisted by a number of other producers and staff. In their own words from their About page: "Radiolab believes your ears are a portal to another world. Where sound illuminates ideas, and the boundaries blur between science, philosophy, and human experience. Big questions are investigated, tinkered with, and encouraged to grow. Bring your curiosity, and we'll feed it with possibility."

For me, they explore so many topics questioning conventional thinking and the limits of our minds. Each episode is 1 hour long (perfect for my rides) and they always have a way of keeping my interest- never sticking to a strict formula for their topics and exploration therein. The episode I have pictured above, "Falling," for example, talks about physically falling according to gravity, falling in love, falling asleep, cats falling, and other interesting concepts in and around the concept of falling. I know I'm not doing a great job of explaining here, but I urge you to take a listen with your free time. You will not be disappointed and, please, there is really no need to thank me.

Here you can find a listing of their episodes through the years. I am too scared too count the number of episodes they have and the number I have yet to listen to. I know that once I do that I will inevitably figure out how many hours that will be for my training and how soon I may run out of episodes. Honestly, this winter training schedule (17 hours this week) has really gotten me counting down the hours, minutes, and seconds of each and every ride I do. I love losing myself in complete mindful interest of these episodes, not worrying about how much time has past or how much discomfort I may be feeling.  When I do run out I think I will listen to them all over again because I know I will have missed some stuff they went through.

I really hope you can take a listen. They have 20 minute "Shorts" that can be enjoyed too! Let me know what you think too!

Oh, and back to my "distractions." Sometimes, I don't need anything, and the enjoyment of riding my bike and anticipation of the coming race season is really enough to keep me going (rare, but true). Thanks for reading.

More About Me

I was scrolling down my recent posts and I discovered that I've trailed away from how I began this blog. It is supposed to be about me and my riding with the occasional opinionated piece when I have nothing much else to blog about. Well, I guess I can't blame myself too much for steering a bit off how I began. Winter training is really not all that interesting day to day.

All I seem to do is ride on my trainer for hour on hour and day by day. To me, that's not too interesting. All that seems to change is the degree of pain my feet, butt, arms, legs, and body seem to be in. My stomach is kind of hurting just writing about it. Anyway, today was like every other day except for a nice treat in the middle.
Messy room, but getting it done with distractions helps.
After one hour today, my dad invited my sister and I to go out for Sushi! This has traditionally been a father-daughter thing, but I was glad to be invited along to break up my 3 and-a-half-hour ride and share with them my more recently acquired (it's been a year give or take) taste for sushi! I used to not ever want to try it, but with the help of a few friends, it has become a very welcome meal for me. After an hour on the bike, it was time for me to hop off. I showered and actually shaved for this outing. It just so happened that I felt very sickly on our way to the restaurant, and I was really worried the sushi would really throw me for a spin, but it was all good. I just ordered a coke and I was fine. I got back home and right back on the bike for my last 2.5 hours of the ride. It may sound easy, but sometimes I really have to find ways to keep my mind distracted from the monotony, pain, and sometimes sheer boredom.

I'm going to expand more on my rides and distractions in my next post. Thanks for reading.

Friday, January 7, 2011

Race Radio Pros

I am a big supporter of race radios in the pro peloton. The fact that the huge majority of the riders support (Cycle Nation) the continued, unrestricted use of them is telling as well. It is a safety buffer, a tactical key, an unparalleled team middleman, and a trusted helper on the road for every rider in the peloton.
Team BMC and a race radio for rider, Mathias Frank (2010)
I can see why the UCI decided to ban them from competition during the 2010 World Championships. Maybe it was a "Let the strongest man win," mentality. A solo breakaway ending in a magnificent "against all odds" solo win of the world championships can spell the most inspiring moment for years to come in the sport of cycling. The peloton could misjudge their timing of trying to reel back in any kind of break away and the sprint for the finish might be amongst 2-9 riders instead of 100+. Now there are more tactics involved that decide the real sprinters, but yeah the decision for ban radios (that were raced with all year) for the end of the season world championship race was not met with inspiring wonder by the peloton.

Here are two videos from Team BMC and their usage of race radios. In the first video, we hear a rider calling back to the team car for waters and the director then drives up to the peloton knowing his team needs him. He hands off needed water and coke to the rider and calls for another rider back to get more drinks for the team while he is there. It is how the races are done nowadays. I see nothing wrong except for a little extra bottle holding "rest" for his hard working domestique.

This second video shows the driving necessary during a race taken by a director when he is called upon. I can see why I heard those screeching tires in the first video.

And just because Fabian Cancellara can have a good day without the help of a well working race radio, doesn't mean they are unnecessary. Maybe... just maybe... his alleged moto-doping bike machine was causing a little too much interference for his radio signal... maybe.

I like Rabobank's to have radio communications broadcast live during races. That would be fun for a lot of people to listen to. I know I would enjoy it at least in the last 20km when things can really heat up in a race. Broadcasting communications would also allow for a lot of support from cycling fans to keep them part of the sport. A further demystification of how pro teams work would mean a lot for many people - like they are closer to their favorite teams and riders.

I don't think broadcasting communications will come immediately, but hopefully the UCI's "glory bans," I'll call them, will cease. Strong riders will still make their breaks, attacks, and wins.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Pro Rides: Bikes for 2011

I don't suppose anyone else should be getting more perks than the pros. It's their job to do their best and ride the best bikes. As I've mentioned in earlier posts, (here and here) the bikes those pros ride are really cool and can be a matter of politics and business.

But I am excited to see the rides for the 2011 circuit. You can find the full listing of the pro team bikes where I did at Bike World News. A few of my favorites here:

Team BMC

Still my favorite looking bike. Team BMC didn't go through any major sponsor change from last year to this and I'm happy for that. They are picking up some intense, young American talent in Taylor Phinney. I hope they do well this season and who knows... maybe this will be Big George's year for Paris-Roubaix. An American can only hope...
Garmin-Cervelo's ride may not look as impressive as the BMC Impec, but it is an incredibly light, powerful frame. I have been lucky enough to have held this frame and components that make for a $10,000 complete bike and it is really breathtaking. Although the bicycle needs to meet UCI (international cycling governing body) standards and demands to weigh 15lbs, this incredibly lightweight frame allows for weight to be added to the bike as needed in carefully chosen areas for the most dynamic and productive ride.
HTC-Highroad and Specialized have come up with this bike for the 2011 season. I am not terribly impressed with this bicycle either, but I suppose it is noteworthy since I made a fuss about how political the bike sponsor swap was for this team. I don't think this bike matches too well with their 2011 kits, but I know they've already been winning with their setup this season with Matt Goss taking the overall win for HTC-Highroad at the Jayco Bay Cycling Classic.
Team Quickstep
I'm not a terribly huge fan of Team Quicksetp, but I do enjoy watching them race with the tough Belgian, Tom Boonen. Their Merkx ride seems to have a "louder" paint scheme. I wish them luck in the upcoming season.

Team Pegasus
Though Team Pegasus will most likely not see the Pro Tour Races at the level it has hoped to, I must admit I love their Scott bikes. It's unfortunate that while some big name riders have been able to sign with other teams, the others are living and praying on success as Team Pegasus fights through the UCI's red tape. What's more upsetting, for me anyway, is that Scott bicycles may not be on the world stage this coming season. Then again, before just becoming aware that they were backing Team Pegasus, I didn't think Scott had any  chance after losing HTC-Highroad. Godspeed to Team Pegasus and Scott bikes for 2011.

The other rides are worth a look if you're interested. I am not really jealous of any of these rides, but one must admit that they are all unique and have strengths and weaknesses that riders will favor and excel with. Then again, I wonder... how could a rider not do well with rides like these? Another look into the teams and their sponsors and bikes can be read about here (again if you're interested)... less photos tho.

Revived 305 Means Relief

There is enough drama when it comes to my cycling. Well, not really, but things have to work and work properly in order for my cycling to be without drama. I can't stand things not working well. Disgusting.
Anyway, like I said I would, I wanted to make sure my Garmin Edge 305 was dead before I jumped on a new computer. I am entirely relieved that I do not have to get a new computer. Had my 305 been dead, I would have had been fairly obligated to downgrade in computer abilities. This isn't the first time my 305 has given me problems, but I will stick with this thing as long as I can. My 305 is a good computer. I know it is because on Garmin's website the 305 is listed at an msrp of $350. Yikes. (I got it refurbished on ebay like a smart one for under $200) Although I am happy my 305 is up and running again, I can't help but be annoyed that the cadence and speed sensor is no longer tracking my speed.
That is a piece not working properly, and in the interest of my willingness to get a new computer if need be, and my want for things to work properly I think I may have to buy a new sensor. I want to know my speed, distance, and ride data as accurately as I can. This sensor will cost $35-$40 depending where I get it.

I was able to count all of my change today and I have about $125. Very nice. That will be more than enough to replace this sensor and I hope will prove to be a nice buffer for things I need to get for my training, and upcoming racing season.

Monday, January 3, 2011

20 Years Fast: Michael Matthews

I thinks it's a pretty cool thing for this reigning U23 World Champion sprinter, Michael Matthews (Rabobank) to be winning against the pros and taking the overall lead of the Jayco Bay Cycling Classic. Stage 2 was taken by Matthews over multiple Grand Tour stage winner, Simon Gerrans (Team Sky) in impressive fashion.
Rather than just be jealous of this amazing young talent, I figure I would give him his due recognition. The guy is 20 years old. What a punk. I would like to see him mixing it up with the best in the Grand Tours of Europe in a year or two. Any sooner might make me sick. 

Reading about how the race was won on Cycling News, this kid shows a lot of promise. Riding with Simon Gerrans in a significant duo breakaway and being able to out sprint the strong Sky rider with a powerful effort and sprint (yes more than just a sprint) is pretty cool. Matthews took the overall lead and Gerrans took the points leader's jersey. I wouldn't say Gerrans is in his best form, but one can't count out the talent Matthews showed. Both riders have a lot to look forward to this season. 

New Cycle Computer Options

My Garmin Edge 305 is unresponsive. It died after I had just plugged it into my computer to transfer data and recharge the battery. When I unplugged the usb from the garmin, it would not turn back on and I've tried various ways of troubleshooting and bringing the garmin back to life. I will still try more before I pull the trigger on a new cycle computer, but the task of finding the right new cycle computer is tough on its own.

There are so many options out there when it comes to the cycle computers best for everyone. My perfect one would probably be the Garmin Edge 500, but I do not want to spend that much money on a new computer. I really don't need all of the flare and flash that thing packs. Sure it would be nice, but I'm a college student. I cannot spend all willy-nilly no matter how much I might want all the bells and whistles.

I would want to have a lot of what the high end computers offer. If I didn't worry about money my computer would have:
  • Computer program and data upload (mac)
  • Heart rate, cadence,  and speed
  • Rechargeable battery
  • Accurate calorie count of workouts
There are other really cool functions that I wouldn't mind having like power recording, altimeter functions, and more cool stuff, but I just can't justify spending more than I have to. Let's also keep in mind that no one needs a compute to ride, train, or race. I don't think I'm ready to go that old-school for my riding, training, and racing, but it is all true.

I have reduced my search to the Cateye V3 and the Vetta V100R WL2X. I would definitely consider these  computers a downgrade from my Garmin Edge 305, but the capture all that I really need. The biggest sacrifice I would have to let go of the ability to upload ride data to my laptop computer. It's fun to see things on a graph and maybe I'm just a dork about it, but I know I can live without it. 

The Cateye V3 is probably going to win out. It doesn't have everything I would want, but I know I can get a discounted team price at Big Bang Bicycles!
However, for a bit more, but still within my price range, I can get a customized Vetta computer just like this one!
"IUP" on the side there.
Oh baby! That would be sweet! Soooooo tempting, but ah... I must stay strong. I do not need a customized cycle computer. I may be heading to Big Bang Bicycles tomorrow for get the V3. I do know he (Glenn) has that computer, but I'm not entirely sure what other options he might have. If I do go to the shop, I will be sure to have my bike with me so they can set it up the right way for me. I know I could do it, but I know they can do it better.

(This is my 100th post! Thanks again for reading)